Why Da-di Songs Will Work
In "Da-di Songs" learning to read music takes place immediately. White notes are sung as 'da' and the black notes are 'di'(dee). The songs are composed with a system that makes reading music easy to learn. The easiest interval to sing is the falling minor third. This becomes the basis for the whole system. We take a scale and find the minor thirds within it. We assign 'Da' to the top and 'di' to the bottom note of each minor third. Only one note of a diatonic scale is both a 'Da' and a 'di'. We then write songs so that each note in the scale assigned 'Da' is always a white note, such as a half note or whole note, and that each note assigned the 'di' syllable is a black note or quarter note. This means that the music will typically be in half note, dotted half note, or whole note pulse, which is good for developing the basic macro pulse relationships, with the quarter note representing the micro pulse. In consideration of the fact that two areas of a scale will have a similar 'tetrachord', or succession of minor and major seconds, we allow one more note of the scale to be both a 'Da' or a 'di'. Before music reading is introduced, when these songs are heard in recordings and taught by rote, they teach the ear of the child subliminally. Constantly, the child is hearing in these songs pitch patterns diatonically transposed sung with the same syllables, teaching the ear the 'structure' of pitch relationships: "THIS is like THAT"... a basic principle of the brain and of learning.
Following these songs in the written music is very easy for children and for the adults teaching them. These songs are a great tool for learning to read music in primary school.
Occasionally, "Hi-lo Songs" are employed in teaching. These songs are also organized around two-syllables, 'Hi' and 'lo', but without the white-black visual aid. Generally, "Hi-lo Songs" employ lots of phrases with minor thirds, and usually have a limited number of pitches to make it easy to tell which notes are "Hi" and which notes are "lo".
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